Byrnes Hits 400 Career Wins on Opening Day Split
It was an history-making day for long-time Louisiana College baseball head coach Mike Byrnes, who saw his team rally in a big way in game two of the doubleheader vs. Alma to earn a split, dropping game one 13-5 before taking game two 17-7 via the mercy rule, and in the process, picking up his 400th career victory Saturday evening at Billy Allgood Field at Legacy Stadium.
Game 1 – Alma 13, Louisiana College 5
The long ball was in play in game one for Alma as the Scots, who homered three times, which accounted for their first six runs of the contest. After a three-run home run in the third, LC looked to get back in the game in the fourth as Ty Morgan came up with the bases loaded and cleared them all off with a shot to the left-center wall that brought them all in to tie the game at 3-3. But a two-run homer in the fifth, and then a solo shot in the seventh gave the Scots all the runs they’d need. A sacrifice fly by Keelyn Johnson and an RBI ground out by Hunter David pulled LC back within a run after 7 innings. But an error helped Alma score two in the eighth inning, and then the flood gates opened with five runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach.
Four different Wildcats each had a pair of hits in game one, led by Jr. C Ty Morgan’s two hits, one of which was a double, and three RBI. So. 3B Ju’Juan Franklin had two hits, one of which was a double, a walk, and a run scored.
Sr. RHP Gerald Groue, Jr. (0-1) came on in the fourth inning and picked up the decision out of the bullpen. He gave up five hits and three runs, all earned, struck out five and walked one. Jr. P Brooks Southall, who started the contest, went 3.2 innings and gave up three hits and three runs, all earned, walked five and struck out three.
Game 2 – Alma 7, Louisiana College 17 (7 innings)
Game two started in a much better way for the Wildcats as LC took a 2-0 off the bat of Hunter David in the bottom of the first as he poked at the correct pitch and the ball kept traveling until it went over the right-field wall for a two-run home run.
Then the bats really started to come alive for Louisiana College as the Wildcats scored in all of the game’s final five innings. In the third inning, David scored on a sacrifice bunt that also ended up being getting thrown away. That error hurt as Ty Morgan singled in Beau Freeman, who laid down the bunt, and Alex Ashby to take a 5-1 lead. Two LC runs came across in the fourth as Keelyn Johnson scored on a sacrifice fly, while David touched the plate again on an RBI single by Freeman.
Four big runs came in during the fifth inning to really keep the Scots at bay. Keelyn Johnson’s single scored Brady Atkins, followed by another sacrifice bunt that brought in Christian Vandergrift. Beau Freeman kept the train moving for LC as his double to the right corner scored both David and Johnson, really stunting a big Alma comeback attempt. The Wildcats added three runs in each the sixth and seventh innings to get the game to the run-rule mark as Christian Vandergrift’s sacrifice fly to left-center scored Nicolas Ramos for the walk-off to end the game and give Byrnes the historic win.
Jr. 3B Beau Freeman and Sr. CF Brodie Falgoust each went three of four in game two with Freeman adding a double, four RBI, and two runs scored. Jr. SS Keelyn Johnson had two hits, including a double, three RBI and touched home plate twice.
Jr. P Konnor McDermott (1-0) came on in the fifth inning and picked up the win. He went 1.1 innings and gave up five hits, three runs, one earned, and walked one batter. Fr. P Dylan Coburn started and went 4.1 innings, allowing two hits and four runs, all earned, walked four and struck out two. So. P Colten Newsom threw the final 1.1 innings, struck out two, and didn’t give up any runs.
The Wildcats (1-1) look to finish opening weekend with a series victory on Sunday as Louisiana College and Alma wrap up the three-game set. The first pitch against the Scots (1-1) is set for 1:00 P.M. at Billy Allgood Field at Legacy Stadium.